By Ossom Rapheal
Nigeria’s Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has insisted that access to land would not be a hindrance to the implementation of the Mortgage Refinancing scheme of the Federal Government.
The Minister who gave the assurance at the stakeholders implementation summit on enabling broader access to housing finance for all Nigerian held in Abuja said that a Uniform Underwriting Standard that would make land available to lower income borrower to access land.
According to the her , the States willingness to make Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) available will be crucial to the success of the policy.
“We must put our minds to it because we know that we are working on a sector that will make a lot of difference.”
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala also said that 25 million dollars has been set aside for the lower income borrowers even as another 25 million dollars could be used for housing finance.
She disclosed that the Nigerian Mortgage Refinance Company is collaborating with the Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) to work on the mass housing scheme for lower income earners who find it difficult to access finance.
The Mortgage Refinancing Scheme is expected to provide 75,000 jobs from the 10,000 houses it targets to build when it takes off by the second quarter of the year.
The Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Akon Eyakenyi, while delivering her speech disclosed that it is set to train about 1,000 artisans and Craftsmen.
The training, the Minister said would be in partnership with the National Home Builders Association /Home Builders Institute of the United States of America, as part of its on-going initiatives on rapid capacity building.
“This is in view to reversing the present trend whereby foreigners constitute the critical mass of skilled artisans and craftsmen in the country.”
The Minister noted that “we cannot achieve our aim of broaden access to housing finance if land titling, property registration transfers, and several other issues on land administration and management are not effectively addressed.”
She noted that to move forward, there is need for increased collaboration between stakeholders to in order to “translate our common vision for the revitalisation of the housing and urban development sector into impactful actions.”